Net-cutting claimed by German activists fails to free dolphins from “The Cove”

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, September 2010:
(published October 5, 2010)
TAIJI, Japan–Japanese authorities, coastal whalers,
longtime opponent of coastal dolphin-killing and capture Ric O’Barry,
and Sea Shepherd Conservation Society observers at the Taiji
dolphin-killing cove Scott and Elora West all appeared surprised on
September 28, 2010 by a web-posted announcement that “Divers from
the European conservation organisation Black Fish last night swam out
and cut the nets of six holding pens in Taiji, Japan, that were
holding dolphins caught during a dolphin drive hunt a few days
earlier.


“During this hunt,” the Black Fish statement said, “a
number of dolphins were selected for the international dolphinarium
trade and transferred to these holding pens,” which belong to the
Taiji Whale Museum, the broker for dolphins sold from Taiji.
“It was not me!” O’Barry e-mailed from Hurghada, Egypt,
where he was working with a local organization called HEPCA. “I have
an iron clad alibi,” O’Barry added. “I was trying to get four Taiji
dolphins out of a private villa. We have not done that yet, but we
were successful in stopping the import of five others.” The Hurghada
dolphins are believed to have been acquired for a dolphinarium being
built in the Red Sea resort city of Sharm al Sheikh.
The Wests and Sea Shepherd Conservation Society founder Paul
Watson initially said they had not heard of Black Fish.
Countered blogger Michael d’Estries of <www.ecorazzi.com>,
“All of the Blackfish co-founders–Arne Feuerhahn, Christine Bindal,
and Wietse van der Werf-are recent Sea Shepherd crew members,” whose
names were mentioned in Sea Shepherd accounts of various 2008-2010
activities. “The crew of the Sea Shepherd on the ship MV Bob Barker
posed for a photo in late August,” d’Estries said, “holding up a
banner supporting a Black Fish campaign.”
Black Fish has mainly protested against marine mammal
captivity in Germany.
“Black Fish is a European group,” Watson acknowledged a day
later, “and did send divers to Taiji, and nets on the dolphin
holding pens were cut. Scott West, our director of investigations
is a trained law enforcement officer,” Watson said. “He carefully
analyzed the situation and the evidence, and confirmed that the nets
were cut. He also confirmed that no dolphins were freed.”
“We have confirmed that there are still live dolphins being
held in the pens in Taiji Harbor,” West posted on October 2, 2010.
“We are unable to determine how many.”

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